Protesting in Dismay

Losing power doesn’t mean Venezuelans lose the will to protest, even if colectivos and not security forces show up to open fire against protesters. Classes will remain suspended and shorter working days were decreed by chavista authorities. The Russians that arrived last week are mechanics, they said.

Photo: @Gbastidas

On Sunday, March 31st, there were protests in several states in the country due to a new and sudden blackout, the seventh in a week, affecting at least 21 states. Instead of acknowledging the weakness of the national electrical system and the difficulties of restoring it to full operation, regime minister Jorge Rodríguez claimed this Saturday that chavismo was targeted by “two new programmed and synchronized attacks” to obstruct their laudable work, adding this excuse to the attacks with electromagnetic pulses, the fire and the mercenary assault with a high-caliber weapon.

It’s the seventh day with outages and power fluctuations (also affecting water supply, mobile networks and internet) and chavismo has only come up with political pretexts and without technical explanations, it’s impossible to say how long this disaster will last. Many citizens took to the streets to protests, blocking the streets with burning barricades, demanding solutions, even right beside Miraflores. Chavismo sent colectivos (paramilitaries) to quell the demonstrations, along with state security bodies, using both tear gas and gunfire. We still don’t have a full report on these events.

Caretaker President Juan Guaidó urged the Armed Forces to protect citizens from paramilitary groups that intimidate them as they protest for blackouts and lack of water. Guaidó also urged Venezuelans to continue protesting against the regime, always in peaceful and organized fashion.


Rodríguez announced that academic activities remain suspended at all education levels (without specifying when they’ll resume, although activities have already been suspended for 11 days) and established a “special” workday until 2:00 p.m., which doesn’t have an end date either. Later, Nicolás approved a 30-day plan to shift to a power rationing regime (in chavista talk: load and balance management) to allegedly progressively restore electricity in the country. He blithely said that the plan started this Sunday and without explaining how, he claimed that he’ll guarantee the drinking water supply. He also added another element to his fabulous list of excuses. the attack on Friday, March 25th, “combined electromagnetic elements with infiltration in Corpoelec that we’re investigating,” he said, and ignoring all protests and repression, he had the gall of claiming: “We won’t let peace be taken from us.” Jorge Rodríguez was cynical enough to congratulate the people for “keeping a civic conduct.” Nicolás said that he’ll personally focus on solving the electric crisis, as if that contributed any to the equation.

They’re mechanics now

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that the Russian military specialists currently in Venezuela are carrying out maintenance work: “We explained what our military servicemen were doing in Venezuela, providing maintenance of the equipment that we supplied under an intergovernmental agreement ratified by the Venezuelan parliament, which is fully consistent with Venezuela’s Constitution.”

We all spent our day waiting for another blackout. We used our appliances in fear of a fluctuation while they were on, sharing the vulnerability despite the lack of outlets. Light bulbs go out along with politeness and patience. Violence rises, even in the “oral tradition” that, according to Ilenia Medina, has gained momentum due to the lack of electricity, while chavismo keeps talking to itself, isolated, drowned in the noise of their power plants, perhaps.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.